European vaccine agreement

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India is urging the European Union to exempt persons who have received the Covishield and Covaxin vaccines.

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Thursday, 1st July 2021

On Wednesday, the Indian government encouraged European Union (EU) member states to put both Covid-19 vaccines — Covishied and Covaxin — in their vaccine passport exemption list. On July 1, the EU's Digital Covid certificate system will go into effect, allowing unrestricted mobility during the coronavirus outbreak.

People who have received vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, or EMA, will be exempt from EU travel restrictions. The European Union has agreed to recognise the vaccination certificate obtained through the CoWIN portal.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has previously clarified the absence of Serum Institute of India's Covishield from the list of approved vaccinations for the 'Green Pass,' claiming that the vaccine does not yet have a marketing authorization in the EU.

The manufacturing sites and production method must be evaluated under European Union regulation. This is a requirement for clearance.

"We have suggested that individual EU member states consider extending similar exemptions to those who have taken Covid-19 vaccines in India, namely Covishield and Covaxin, and recognise the vaccination certificate issued through the CoWIN portal," according to news agency PTI, quoting a source.

The authenticity of such immunisation certificates may be verified via the CoWIN portal, according to the article.

"We've also informed EU member states that India will implement a reciprocal policy for the recognition of the EU Digital Covid Certificate," the statement continued.

India has also stated that if the EU does not recognise Indian vaccination certificates, it will not accept EU certificates.

"Upon notification of Covishield and Covaxin for inclusion in the EU Digital Covid Certificate and recognition of Indian CoWIN vaccination certificates," the report continued, "Indian health authorities would reciprocally exempt the EU member state concerned for exemption from the mandatory quarantine of all those persons carrying EU digital COVID certificate."

Individual EU member states have the option of accepting Covid-19 vaccinations that have been approved at the national or international level. According to sources in India, people who received the Covishield and Covaxin vaccines are unlikely to be qualified for the EU's 'Green Pass' scheme, which allows them to travel to EU member states.

During a discussion with Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union's High Representative, Union Minister S Jaishankar also discussed the inclusion of Covishield in the EU's digital Covid certificate scheme.

The meeting took place in Italy on the fringes of a G20 summit.

Jaishankar took to Twitter to say, "The manufacture and distribution of vaccines were discussed. For travel to Europe, I obtained a ‘Covishield' authorization. I'll follow up with you."

The News Talkie Bureau


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